23 luglio 2021

 

Anche Terra Nova Press pubblica un bel volume di interviste, Guitar Talk: Conversations with Visionary Players. Le ha condotte Joel Harrison, chitarrista egli stesso, conversando con alcuni dei più importanti maestri e innovatori della chitarra del nostro tempo - tra questi Nels Cline, Fred Frith, Bill Frisell, Elliott Sharp, Henry Kaiser, Vernon Reid, Mary Halvorson, Ava Mendoza, Wolfgang Muthspiel e Ralph Towner - evidenziandone gli insegnamenti e le tecniche, le esperienze personali e le visioni per il futuro. Gliene rende merito uno degli intervistati più celebri, Pat Metheny: "The work that Joel Harrison has done to showcase the development of the guitar and the expanded role that it has taken in music is a testament to the almost unlimited sonic dimensions the word 'guitar' can invoke in the imagination of musicians and fans alike."

An enormous range of approaches and sounds exist in the modern guitar. The instrument can howl, scrape, scratch, scream, sing, pluck, and soothe. What stands out in this book is not so much the instrument itself, rather the wonderful and idiosyncratic personalities of these bold souls, their sometimes wild, often zigzagging, and ultimately profound journeys toward beauty, meaning, and excellence in their work. We find out that jazz icon Bill Frisell won a high school band contest  playing R&B tunes, beating out future members of Earth Wind and Fire. We learn which of Nels Cline's compositions he wishes to have played at his funeral. Michael Gregory Jackson recounts painful episodes  of racism as he stretched between the chasm of avant jazz, rock, and blues in the 1980s. Many more revelations, amusements, and philosophies abound.